Yankees are trying to talk Derrek Lee out of retirement

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Mark Teixeira’s wrist injury has the Yankees searching for a short-term replacement at first base and David Waldstein of the New York Times reports that they’re trying to talk Derrek Lee into coming out of retirement.

Lee sat out all of last season after failing to get an offer he liked, but according to Waldstein the 37-year-old has some interest in playing for the Yankees.

Lee split the 2011 season between the Orioles and Pirates, hitting .267 with 19 homers and a .771 OPS in 113 games. He had similar numbers in 2010.

Obviously a 37-year-old who didn’t play at all last season and posted a sub-.800 OPS in 2010 and 2011 is hardly an ideal pickup, but at this late stage in the offseason there just isn’t much to choose from in terms of veteran bats who can also capably play first base on a regular basis (in other words, not Jim Thome).

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.